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Lightning top Flames to end home-ice slide

by Corey Long / NHL.com

TAMPA -- Steven Stamkos scored the go-ahead goal with 7:09 remaining in the third period and the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Calgary Flames 3-1 on Thursday.

Tyler Johnson and Brian Boyle also scored for the Lightning (8-8-2), who had lost their past three home games. Ben Bishop made 30 saves.

"The last 10 minutes of the game were a lot more indicative of the way we've been playing," Stamkos said. "Controlling the puck and winning battles; hopefully we can continue on that path."

Sam Bennett scored, and Karri Ramo made 26 saves for Calgary (5-11-1).

"This one really hurts. I felt that our guys deserved way better," Flames coach Bob Hartley said. "We played a great second period. Tough play on [defenseman Mark Giordano]; his stick got caught in their skate [on the penalty]. It was a loose puck, and that got it to Stamkos. They got it exactly to the guy we didn't want it to get to."

Giordano wasn't excusing himself.

"We played a good game, but it's on me. I can't take that penalty," he said. "My stick got caught up in his feet there, not trying to trip him, but they got the call. We had a lot of chances, you've got to give their goalie credit; he made some good saves on our opportunities."

Stamkos broke a 1-1 tie when he scored his ninth goal. With the Lightning on a power play, Alex Killorn got hold of a loose puck that Johnson couldn't control and found Stamkos in the slot for a one-timer past Ramo.

"It was good timing," Stamkos said. "It was nice for our power play, which I think has been clicking lately. It was nice to get one late in the game in a 1-1 game. We didn't play very well at times but you get the breaks that you deserved and in the third [period], especially the last half of it, we played better.

Johnson gave the Lightning some insurance with 1:33 remaining. Nikita Kucherov set up the play with a fake shot that forced Ramo to commit, then slipped the puck to Johnson in the lower left circle for a shot into a wide-open net.

"It was nice to get those two," Bishop said of the third-period goals. "The power play came up big and to get the extra one was nice. Hopefully was can build off of this. We're not going to celebrate anything over one win. We have to build on what we did right and keep things going in the right direction. It's time to start peaking."

The Lightning took a 1-0 lead at 1:59 in the second period on Boyle's third goal of the season. Braydon Coburn sent a pass to Boyle in the slot, Boyle faked a shot to get Flames defenseman Ladislav Smid to commit to a block attempt and fired a wrist shot past Ramo and inside the far post.

"We needed to bring a little more emotion and I thought we did that tonight," Lightning forward Ryan Callahan said. "Brian's goal was big early and we have to keep going to the net and putting pucks there and you're going to score goals."

Calgary tied the game at 6:45 in the second period when Bennett scored his fourth goal of the season. With the Flames up a man, Bennett redirected a shot from Mikael Backlund that ended up going between Bishop's pads.

The Flames will have to bounce back quickly; they play at the Washington Capitals on Friday. Tampa Bay hosts the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

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